Don't be fooled. Inside this thin coating of sweetness is a fiery core of total insanity.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

The Hurrier I Go

I'm late, I'm late.

I haven't posted in a while, and in the last couple of weeks I've been posting less than I like. I just got back from a trip to the East Coast to visit my son and his girlfriend, who just bought a house. It was a great visit, I had a wonderful time, and I have lots of pictures to prove it.

Now I just have to find the time and inclination to post them. They wanted advice about what to do with their new garden, and I have lots of ideas, so I want to tell you about that.

Two rows of enormous conifers 6 feet apart in the front yard of my son's newly purchased home about 10 feet from the front of the house -- an exercise in What Were They Thinking?

We went to the Mary Baker Eddy Library in Boston and saw the Mapparium, and I want to talk a little about that.

The four of us in front of a mock-up "selfie wall" of the Mapparium -- photos in the actual Mapparium not allowed

We visited the Tower Hill Botanic Garden in Boylston, Massachusetts, which I never visited despite living for 50+ years in the area, and I want to post about that.

Cupid at Tower Hill applying antiperspirant

In addition, our weather here in the PNW has been and will apparently continue to be glorious, so before we went away I was making great progress in the garden, and I want to show that, and I need to get back to doing that.

In short, I'm alive, but I'm busier than a one-armed paper-hanger.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Wednesday Vignette/Foliage Followup -- May 2018

Last weekend I went to the spring plant sale at Heronswood in Kingston, WA. Afterward, as usual, I went into the gardens for a long look around. I adore Heronswood, it's one of my favorite gardens of all time, and whenever I visit, I feel the urge to share the beauty with whoever will stop to look at my pictures. I'll share some of those photos in a future post, but for now, here's a shot of a huge swath of very impressive Rodgersia.

Gorgeous bronze Rodgersia at Heronswood

I wish I knew what variety this is. When my Rodgersia gets this big, the leaves have long ago turned as green as Kermit. Perhaps I should just be content that my leaves are large and my plant hasn't died. Yet.

As an aside, I want to share a funny comment I overheard while walking through the garden.

"I bet this takes a lot of upkeep."

Pam at Digging hosts Foliage Followup, every month on the day after Garden Bloggers Bloom Day. Check out her post here.

Anna at Flutter & Hum hosts Wednesday Vignette. Check out her post here.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day -- May 2018

It's once again Garden Bloggers Bloom Day, so yesterday on one of the hottest days of the spring so far I walked around the garden and took note with my camera of what was flowering in mid-May. Our weather lately has been sunny and warm and I've been spending every spare moment in the garden, working on revamping a bed in the back, potting up tuberous Begonias, moving the tender plants out of the greenhouse, etc., etc., etc.

I barely have the time or energy or inclination to blog or take photos of what I'm doing. I'm pushing myself to get as much done as possible before I hit the wall of complete and utter exhaustion, burn out, or die, whichever comes first.

Anyway, here's what's flowering in my garden.

Begonia boliviensis

Dicentra 'Gold Heart'

A sea of Anthriscus sylvestris

Lamium orvala

Saxifraga 'London Pride'

Soapwort, hardy Geranium, Dicentra formosa and yellow Corydalis

Flowers flowering


I also have some plummy frilly Columbines flowering in another bed, where they have sown themselves in a strange variety of forms.

Crambe maritima flowering in the pot ghetto

Magnolia laevifolia flowered a week ago and is finished now, but I've included it here for recording purposes
Silene 'Ray's Golden Campion'

Pacific Coast Iris in the front bed

Two diofferent PCIs mingling -- they need thinning and dividing

Lavandula stoechas 'Boysenberry Ruffles'

Alyssum and hardy Geranium

Grevillea 'Canberra Gem'

Grevillea 'Canberra Gem'

Allium being admired by my array of head planters

Carol at May Dreams Gardens hosts Garden Bloggers Bloom Day on the 15th of every month. Check out her post here.

Monday, May 7, 2018

In A Vase On Monday

The flower that inspired today's vase was my first Calendula, which I found flowering on one of last year's plants that survived our winter. I didn't even realize it was there, growing in an out of the way corner of the garden, until I ventured there the other day and there it was, flowering. I sowed Calendula 'Solar Flashback' a few years ago in the front garden, and this plant is a descendant of those first packets of seeds. I cut a couple of my first Pacific Coast Iris 'Broadleigh Rose' to go with it, and a big handful of Saxifrage 'London Pride' which provides a wonderful airiness to the rest of the arrangement.

I decided to change up the vase this week and put everything in the mouth of this fish

Pacific Coast Iris 'Broadleigh Rose'

Cathy at Rambling in The Garden hosts In A Vase On Monday. Check out her post here.

Thursday, May 3, 2018

A Visit to the RSBG After the Plant Sale

One advantage of buying plants at the RSBG Plant Sale is that you get free admission into the garden. It's been a couple of years since I was there last, but it's always a wonderful treat! I don't think I've ever seen every corner of this garden, some day I'll go back and have a more leisurely stroll through it. I love the fern stumpery and I headed into the garden with that as my goal, with a few stops along the way.

Even the walkway from the parking lot to the entrance is interesting and lined with cool moss-covered plantings.

I headed first to the conservatory -- it's on the way to the stumpery, so I slipped inside.

Don't ask me what anything is, I haven't a clue, but it smelled delicious.

I've seen this strange spider-like plant before, it always intrigues me

Back outside now.

Fothergilla, I think

The floor looks at first to be carpeted with cardboard or brown paper, but it's actually the very large decaying leaves of Magnolia hypoleuca

Some of the Rhodies have a wonderful cinnamon-brown fuzzy indumentum

Unfurling ferns were everywhere

What's around the corner?

Rhododendron 'Bodnant Yellow'

A large swath of Pdophyllum pleianthum with enormous leaves

Huge stand of ostrich ferns

A Cardiocrinum/giant Himalayan lily that is getting ready to bloom this year

They've left stalks on some that bloomed last year -- the basal leaf growth is from pups that last year's plant has produced

The seedpods are like little toothy mouths

I spy the pond through the trees, but by now I'm near the stumpery, so I'm not tempted

The entrance to the stumpery

The Victorian fern stumpery at the RSBG is the largest public stumpery of its kind in the world, containing 140 stumps and logs in about a 1/2 acre. You can read more about it here.

It's my favorite place in the garden, it has a mystical atmosphere I've never found anywhere else. There's something delightfully mysterious about the twisty, plant- and moss-covered stumps and roots and branches. It brings to my mind my first visit to Washington state when I saw for the first time what a clear-cut logged piece of land looked like. It was kind of horrifying. This is like that, with that touch of horror, but muted by the fact that it's all covered in beautiful plants and moss.

I made my way back more or less the way I came in. I haven't shown half the garden, of course, in this post. There are areas I know I've never seen. I really should go back some day and use the map to cover every twisty path.

The RSGB is a wonderful garden. You should visit if you're in Federal Way. Check out their website here.

For pictures of the RSBG in much wetter weather:

Danger Garden: The Stumpery in early spring

The RSBG in early spring